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Time ticking for states to opt in or out of FirstNet
Within the next year or two, governors will need to decide if they want to join the federal government’s new nationwide public safety communications network. And although the decision may seem far away, now is the time to prepare. The First Responder Network Authority — the independent federal entity better known as FirstNet — is in the process of drawing up specific network designs for each state.
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As landline phones disappear, some voice concerns
More than a dozen years ago, America had a record high 186 million phones that operated over copper wires. Since then, more than 100 million have been disconnected, according to the trade group US Telecom. Today, nearly two in five Americans (38.5 percent) use only wireless phones in their home, according to a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But just because wireless and broadband phone service has been embraced by a wide swath of Americans doesn’t mean everyone is ready to say goodbye to their landlines.
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Safety guide for worldwide outdoor events lauded
Claims Journal
A comprehensive safety guide for outdoor concerts that was spurred by the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse will now bring lessons from that tragedy to venues worldwide. The Event Safety Alliance announced the release of the first guide in Las Vegas recently and says it provides best practices for emergency planning, weather preparedness, and temporary staging, rigging and special effects. The guidelines are modeled after the “Purple Guide,” a 200-page document used in the United Kingdom that addresses everything from stage design to ways to safely usher fans in and out of venues.
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Albany, Ga., small business share holiday safety tips
For small businesses, they say the holidays are a great time for making money, but that extra cash brings a heightened threat of burglaries, especially for those who don't have the ability to beef up their security staff. "We don't have the resources to do those things, we don't have necessarily a security guard all the time or we don't have resources to pay somebody to be here all the time," said Sweet Potatoes Children’s Boutique Owner Shanna Shealy. In order to stay safe, stores say one of the cardinal rules around Christmas, especially for businesses who employ young women, is to always schedule more than one person for each shift.
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Florida congressman proposes disaster savings accounts
Insurance Journal
A Florida congressman is calling for the creation of a new federal tax-free savings account that will allow homeowners to set aside up to $5,000 to help strengthen their homes against hurricanes and other natural disasters. Rep. Dennis Ross, a Republican from Lakeland who represents Florida’s 15th Congressional District, recently introduced the Disaster Savings Account Act, which is designed to reduce catastrophic losses by encouraging homeowners to take steps to mitigate the effect of storms on their homes.
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Oklahoma adopts California-style quake precautions
Claims Journal
It’s become a predictable routine at Matt Pryor’s insurance agency: An earthquake rumbles through Oklahoma, rattling dishes and nerves. Then the phones light up with calls and text messages from desperate residents asking if it’s too late to buy a policy to cover any damage. Business at Pryor’s Oklahoma City office has been brisk following a pair of temblors that struck recently near the city of Edmond, a bedroom community where residents are more accustomed to watching the sky for tornadoes than bracing for the earth to move.
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Holiday party risks
Property Casualty 360
The holiday season is usually filled with generosity and good cheer, but holiday parties do not come without risk. Though party guests tend to be loved ones and family members, unfortunately, many people will sue in the event of a mishap at the holiday party, and the host becomes liable. An unexpected lawsuit would put a damper on the holiday season. Help protect your clients by passing on the following tips for avoiding holiday party risks.
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Rutgers University establishes ERM program, names chief risk, compliance officer
Compliance Week
Rutgers University has named Ted Brown, former deputy attorney general in the N.J. Division of Criminal Justice, as head of the university's newly-established enterprise risk management program. In this capacity, he will serve as senior vice president and chief enterprise risk, ethics and compliance officer. The hirings followed an extensive eight-week review of the events leading to the termination of former basketball coach Mike Rice and of relevant Rutgers policies and procedures, noted that nine of the 14 schools in the Big Ten Conference have already established a risk management committee or system.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How to end workplace bullying (Lab Manager)
Is Rhode Island 'texting tolerant?' (WLNE-TV)
Mississippi school district waives insurance rule for some Santas (Claims Journal)
Oklahoma school emergency, classroom safety law confusing (KJHR-TV)
Increased number of drowsy drivers to blame for Ohio crashes (Marion Star)

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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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